The film “For Sama” was screened in front of hundreds of influencers in Turkish public opinion

On Tuesday evening, December 20, 2022, the Harmony Project, one of the projects of the Civil Society Organizations Platform, organized a screening of the film “To the Stars” for a large and influential Turkish audience. The screening was held at the historic Atlas Cinema in Taksim/Istanbul, and was attended by the film’s director, Waad Al-Kateab, and her family.

The importance of the screening, which was organized in the presence of the director and her family, was due to the large Turkish audience of nearly 500 people, most of whom were influential Turkish figures in politics, media, civil society, and academia. A small number of influential Syrian figures interested in Turkish-Syrian affairs were also in attendance.

The Harmony Project had previously screened the same film nearly ten times for hundreds of Turks, and each time, viewers emerged in a state of great emotion and empathy. Some of them even changed their views of Syrians in a fundamental way after the film (as evidenced by a simple survey conducted with the attendees before and after the film to measure change). The film’s narrative, supported by real-life footage, confirms that Syrians did not easily abandon their homeland, but rather struggled, sacrificed, and held on to their land until the last breath.

This is where the idea of organizing the screening in front of influential figures in Turkish society came from in order to achieve the greatest possible impact.

The audience’s reaction, composed of “important figures,” was no different from previous experiences. The sound of crying could be heard amid the silence of shock from the shocking scenes. At the end of the film, when the director and her family took to the stage, the audience, which had stood up in respect, continued to applaud for a long time.

After a conversation with the family led by the director of the Harmony Project, Yavuz Yeter, the ceremony for the presentation of the Harmony International Award for 2022 began. Waad Al-Kateab received the Harmony Award, which she earned for her efforts to promote social harmony and coexistence, on behalf of the Syrian people. The General Director of the Civil Society Organizations Platform, Mehmet Aktay, then presented the award on behalf of the Turkish people after the audience agreed.

The Platform expressed its sincere thanks to the director, Waad Al-Kateab, Dr. Hamza Al-Kateab, and the Action for Sama team for their trust and partnership, as well as to the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture for its great support in organizing the event. It also thanked everyone who attended the event from the Turkish and Syrian communities for their support and interest.

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